PAWS: Precise Autonomous Wildlife Surveillance

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Statement of the Problem


     In today’s world of sprawling infrastructure and human influence, the habitats of many of Earth’s rarest wildlife are being threatened. Not only are these rare creatures being uprooted from their natural habitats but without homes, many face extinction. While government protection under the Endangered Species Act is significant, a considerable amount of evidence and data must be presented in order to support claims for protection.
     An effective way to collect information on these rare species is through the use of remote cameras. Placed in the wilderness, these autonomous camera systems capture wildlife without disrupting or disturbing their habitats. Data collected from these camera systems is used by conservationist organizations to extrapolate information on population movements and migratory patterns. Footage collected by these remote cameras is also particularly appealing to the producers of wildlife documentaries who are always seeking footage of rare species.

The Design:

     The user will deploy PAWS in the environment of choice and enable the system.  The system will remain dormant and non-intrusive to wildlife.  There will be four motion sensors, representing four quadrants, allowing for 360 degrees of horizontal detection.  When one of these sensors detects motion a signal specific to the quadrant is sent to a servomotor.  The servo will adjust the camera to the correct quadrant and the camera will begin filming. Successive frames from the camera will be analyzed in order to determine and track the target in view. As the target moves, signals will be sent to the servo instructing it to center its frame onto the target’s new location. The system will sustain itself for approximately two weeks varying with heightened or depleted levels of activity or extreme conditions.  The data collected by the system is stored on site and is retrieved at the end of a deployment term.

Project Deliverables:

  • Motion sensor array for initial location of target
  • Real time motion tracking
  • Sleep mode to save power
  • 360 Degree range of vision and motion
Statement of the Problem
Requirements Specification
System Block Diagram
System Specification
PDR, MDR, CDR and FPR Files
College of Engineering
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
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